Romila Thappar is Associate Professor of English specialising in Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Dayton. Her research and teaching emerge from her intersecting interests in global, gender and environmental issues and include South Asian literature and culture, environmental justice and ecofeminist theory. Rahman’s work has appeared in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, ariel: A Review of International English Literature, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental Communication, and Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory. She is also the guest editor of a forthcoming special issue of South Asian Review titled “The Environment of South Asia” and the author of Place and Postcolonial Ecofeminism: Pakistani Women’s Literary and Cinematic Fictions (University of Nebraska Press, 2019; Folio Books, 2021).
Pakistani Women’s Literary and Cinematic Fictions
While news reports about Pakistan tend to cover Taliban attacks and bombings, and academics focus on security issues, the environment often takes a backseat in media reportage and scholarship. In particular, Pakistani women’s attachment to their environment and their environmental concerns are almost always ignored. Shazia Rahman traces the ways in which Pakistani women explore alternative, environmental modes of belonging, examines the vitality of place-based identities within Pakistani culture, and thereby contributes to evolving understandings of Pakistani women—in relation to both their environment and to various discourses of nation and patriarchy.
Through an astute analysis of such works as Sabiha Sumar’s Khamosh Pani (2003), Mehreen Jabbar’s Ramchand Pakistani (2008), Sorayya Khan’s Noor (2006), Uzma Aslam Khan’s Trespassing (2003), and Kamila Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (2009), Rahman illuminates how Pakistani women’s creative works portray how people live with one another, deal with their environment, and intuit their relationship with the spiritual. She considers how literary and cinematic documentation of place-based identities simultaneously critiques and counters stereotypes of Pakistan as a country of religious nationalism and oppressive patriarchy. Rahman’s analysis discloses fresh perspectives for thinking about the relationship between social and environmental justice.
Shazia Rahman is a professor of English at Western Illinois University.
“A welcome intervention to the incipient debate on women and ecological degradation in Pakistan that will enrich understandings of self, place, and belonging beyond the narrow confines of the postcolonial state’s official nationalism.”
– Ayesha Jalal, director of the Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies at Tufts University
“An urgent and consequential book on the deep entanglements between gender
politics and environmental justice. . . . Impressive, vital work.”
– Rob Nixon, author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
“This book will be required reading not only among ecocritics but also among feminist, postcolonial, ethnic, Pakistani, and American studies scholars.”
– Joni Adamson, director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at Arizona State University
“Shazia Rahman’s ethically charged book offers a fresh and novel engagement with cultural production from Pakistan, an enormously important part of South Asia that is nevertheless often neglected in postcolonial studies.”
– Ananya Jahanara Kabir, author of Partition’s Post-Amnesias: 1947, 1971, and Modern South Asia
Publisher: Folio Books
Publishing date: April 2021
Availability: In Stock
Fahmida Riaz was a progressive Pakistani Urdu poet, writer, and translator. Born in 1946 in Meerut and educated in Hyderabad (Sindh) and London, she was a prominent voice in the feminist struggle in Pakistan. During the Zia era, she was charged with sedition and forced to go into exile. She is the author of many collections of poetry. Three volumes of her novels and collection of short stories, apart from the Urdu translation of selected verses from Shaikh Ayaz and the Iranian poet, Farough Farrakhzad have also been published. She also translated in rhyme a selection of ghazals from Divan-e-Shams Tabriz into Urdu, titled Khaan-e-aab-o-gil. She died on November 21, 2018 after battling a long illness.
Ali Raza is a historian specializing in the history of modern South Asia. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford and was a research fellow at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. His research and teaching interests include the social and intellectual history of South Asia, comparative colonialisms, decolonization and post-colonial theory. Raza’s work has appeared in Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East; South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies; Itinerario; South Asian History and Culture; and Contemporary South Asia. He is also the co-editor of The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World Views, 1917-39 (Sage, 2014) and the author of Revolutionary Pasts: Communist Internationalism in Colonial India. (Cambridge, 2020; Folio, 2020)
Harris Khalique is a leading Urdu and English language poet. He is also an essayist and columnist. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his poems faced censorship in Pakistan. Anthologised and published internationally, he is translated into several languages and his poetry is composed to music and dance. Khalique is a University of Iowa Honorary Fellow in Writing and has spoken and written widely on themes straddling literature, politics, history and human rights. He is the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance – one of the highest civilian honours in Pakistan – and the UBL Literary Excellence Award.
Faraz Talat is a medical doctor and the founder of the cultural space Cafe Sol in Islamabad. He is also a writer with numerous online publications on the subjects of civil rights, public health, and arts and culture. He is presently working in the psychiatric field, focusing on community programs that aim to make mental healthcare more accessible to the public. Seventy Four is his debut novella.